Thandai, a traditional Indian cooling drink made with milk, nuts and spices is specially prepared on the Holi, the festival of colors, popular in northen India. The ingredients list to make this beverage is long but the making process is very easy and doesn’t take much time. You can make thandai masala powder mix in advance and store it in the refrigerator to use it whenever you want to make this drink instantly. To make the masala powder, just grind all the nuts and spices (given under the thandai masala powder mix section in table) to the fine powder and it’s ready. Follow the below given recipe with step by step photos to learn how to make the thandai masala and delicious thandai from that at home.
Ingredients for Thandai Masala:
1/4 cups Almonds (badam)
1/4 cup Fennel Seeds (saunf)
2 tablespoons Cashew nuts (kaju)
2 tablespoons Pistachios (pista)
2 tablespoons Poppy Seeds (khuskhus)
2 tablespoons Melon Seeds (magaz seeds)
1/2 tablespoon Black Peppercorns (kali mirch)
1 tablespoon Cardamom (elaichi)
10-12 Saffron Strands (kesar), optional
1 tablespoon dried Rose Petals or 1 teaspoon Rose Water, optional
for Thandai
2 cups full fat Milk (500 ml)
1½ tablespoons or 2 tablespoons Sugar (or 1 teaspoon less or to taste)
  • You can use previously boiled and cooled milk in this recipe. In this case, add 1 tablespoon thandai masala powder and 2 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon or to taste) sugar to each cup of milk, mix well and keep it in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or for 7-8 hours for better flavor). Then strain the milk mixture and serve.
  • If you are in hurry, just blend the milk with sugar, masala powder and a few ice cubes in a blender for 3-4 minutes and then keep it aside for 15 minutes. Then strain the milk mixture and serve.
Directions (How to make Thandai Mix (Thandai Masala Powder)):
  1. Take 1/4 cups almonds (badam), 1/4 cup fennel seeds (saunf), 2 tablespoons cashew nuts (kaju), 2 tablespoons pistachios (pista), 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (khuskhus), 2 tablespoons melon seeds (magaz seeds), 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns (kali mirch), 1 tablespoon cardamom (elaichi), 10-12 saffron strands (kesar) and 1 tablespoon dried rose petals.
  2. Peel the cardamom to remove the seeds or use the whole cardamom.
  3. Add fennel seeds (saunf), black peppercorns and cardamom seeds (or whole cardamom) in the jar of a mixer grinder or a blender.
  4. Grind it until smooth powder.
  5. Add almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, poppy seeds and melon seeds in the same jar.
  6. Grind it until smooth powder.
  7. Transfer it to a bowl or a container. Crush the dried rose petals and add it to the masala.
  8. Mix well. Thandai Masala powder is ready. Store it in an airtight container. It stays good for 2-3 months in the refrigerator. Use 1 tablespoon thandai masala powder and 2 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon or to taste) sugar for each cup of milk. You can make approx. 16 glasses of thandai using this masala powder.
Directions (How to make Thandai):
  1. Pour 2 cups milk in a deep pan and bring it to a boil over medium flame. Add saffron strands in it.
  2. When it comes to a boil, reduce flame to low and add 1½ tablespoons sugar (or to taste).
  3. Add 2 tablespoons thandai mix.
  4. Mix well to avoid any lump formation and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Turn off the flame. Let the milk mixture cool at room temperature.
  6. Transfer it to a large bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to chill.
  7. Take it out from the refrigerator and add rose water (add only if you are not using rose petals) and sieve the milk mixture through a strainer. Discard the residue. If you like little bit texture in thandai, no need to strain the mixture.
  8. Pour thandai into individual glasses and garnish with finely chopped dry fruits, rose petals and saffron strands. Serve it chilled and enjoy.
Tips and Variations:
  • Thandai masala powder stays good for 2-3 months in the refrigerator.
  • If you are making this for kids, reduce the amount of black peppercorns.
  • Instead of adding saffron strands to the hot milk, you can grind them with other ingredients in step-5.
  • If you are using rose water, don’t add it to the thandai milk mixture when it is hot. Always add it to the chilled milk mixture.
Taste:  Mild spicy and cooling taste
Serving Ideas:  Serve it chilled as an afternoon beverage.

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